Cataclysm

matthew's picture

I just had a nap during lunch, and for once actually fell fully asleep rather than just resting.
I had the strangest dream.  Maybe I'll write a song about it one day.  For now, a short story will suffice.

I lived near some indefinite area near the seashore.  It reminded me a great deal of the approach to Seattle -- a long bay of brackish water, surrounded by bright green rounded hills cascading from the impressive mountaintops at the periphery of vision.  The water was still and calm, reflecting the pale blue of the slightly hazy sky dappled with puffy clouds.

Perfect.  I kissed my wife goodbye, and left my family to their quiet Saturday afternoon.  I walked out of my quiet bungalow, which was made of redwood logs seated in the midst of a pine forest, and settled into my two-seater sports car which was silently awaiting my approach on the gravel roundabout, and drove to a friend's house a few miles away.  We were having some drinks and chatting with a dozen other friends in the front room of his small rambler house when a sense of something drove me to the window.

I was facing East.  The bay was out of sight behind me over my left shoulder.  What I could see terrified me.  It was as if the ground was being picked up and folded over itself -- an earthquake, a mudslide, I didn't know what.  I watched the hillside a mile away falling, mansions tumbling end-over-end and smashing as if they were made of toothpicks.  For some reason, I didn't think to try to get in my car.  I ran outside instead, across the street to stand at the end of a long row of aspen trees.

The strange ground swell/earthquake thing stopped a hundred meters shy of my friends house, but the rumbling wave shuddered underneath the aspens, dropping me to my knees from the power of it.

Maybe it's a flashback to my fear of earthquakes.  I was in the Northridge earthquake (really close, a town called Sylmar) in 1993, and for years after that I kept a bag next to the front door filled with essential supplies in case I had to leave in a hurry.